S. Korea Plans to Start Railway Project With North This Year

Путин отправил срочную телеграмму Ким Чен Ыну

"At Yongsan, once the starting point of railroads between Seoul and Sinuiju and between Seoul and Wonsan, I propose the creation of the East Asian railroad community today, encompassing six Northeast Asian countries and the United States", Moon said in his speech at the Liberation Day ceremony held at the National Museum of Korea in Yongsan, Seoul.

Moon said that even if "political unification" between the North and South is a long way off, establishing peace, allowing travel between the North and South and forming a joint economic community "will be true liberation for us". At that meeting, Kim repeated his commitment to denuclearization. Those efforts have been complicated by an impasse between the North and the United States over the pace of North Korea ending its nuclear and missile development programs, which the two sides agreed to during the historic meeting in April between Kim and President Donald Trump in Singapore.

However, the president said inter-Korean cooperation may take off in earnest only after the North completely denuclearizes. Pyongyang has been calling for an end-of-war declaration as a security guarantee in return for taking denuclearization actions. "Rather, the development of South-North Korean relations is the driving force that promotes denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula", Moon said.

Meanwhile, Russia continues to push for economic cooperation involving both Koreas, with Lavrov and South Korean foreign minister Kang Kyung-wha having discussed these issues during a meeting on the sidelines of the ASEAN Regional Forum earlier this month.

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Moon also said that renewed economic ties could generate $149 billion for North Korea over 30 years. Reopening the jointly run Kaseong industrial complex, which was shut down in 2016 due to a North Korean nuclear test, could bring back over 100,000 jobs. The summit will be in Pyongyang, though the exact date has not been announced.

The Korean War reached an armistice in 1953, but no peace treaty ever followed.

In a press briefing on Tuesday, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert was asked to confirm working-level talks in the demilitarized zone that reportedly took place over the weekend, and whether such talks involved planning Pompeo's next visit to North Korea. The U.S. wants denuclearization progress first, and there are concerns that a peace declaration would undermine the justification for the American military presence in Asia. It was edited by Mario Ritter.

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